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Data management is the practice of keeping research data accessible and intelligible during and after a research project is complete. Through organization, description, archiving, and sharing researchers can maintain useful data during research, or even years after a project ends.
Well-managed data is essential for researchers in all fields. Many funding agencies require applicants to plan for the longevity of their data, making it necessary for many researchers to develop sound management strategies. Additionally, keeping your research accessible and readable for the future will allow you to re-use your data for your future projects, saving you time and resources.
It can also help support your published findings. Scholarly papers are sometimes retracted due to missing or unreadable data, or debunked after examination of the original data didn't support the claims; as a result, many publications will require that scholars reveal their data when submitting articles and papers.
Research data exists in many foms; your project may involve numerical, textual, visual/audiovisual, or geographic data. You may have created software programs, algorithms, scripts, or other code which will be essential to save. Researchers who aggregate or collect their material over extended periods of time can also benefit tremendously from good data management practices.
This guide is intended to educate researchers on best practices for managing data, and to provide resources for the UIC community.